The AMA Association for Sensor and Measuring Technology (AMA) surveyed its members in January 2022 on the economic development of the past fiscal year. According to its own information, the industry generated an overall increase in sales of twenty percent, compared to the previous year. In the first quarter, the industry recorded a significant increase in sales due to a catch-up effect, while the subsequent quarters showed stable sales at a high level.
Sensors and measurement technology shows willingness to invest
The industry is once again showing a willingness to invest. While investments declined in 2020, AMA members invested twelve percent more last year and plan to increase investments by a further 14 percent in the current year. This shows that the sensor and measurement technology sector is an optimistic industry in a spirit of optimism.
Exports down due to pandemic
Until now, the industry's export quotas have grown continuously, but this changed last year. The export quota decreased by eleven percent, but overall, with an export quota of 50 percent, sensor and measurement technology is within the comparable average of the industry.
Number of employees increases, short-time work decreases significantly
Short-time work fell at AMA member companies from around 50 percent in the comparable quarter to seven percent in Q4 2021. If the industry hired three percent new employees last year, it plans to hire another plus five percent this year.
Positive development in R&D intensity
The AMA Association asked its members about the percentage of sales that companies invest in research and development. The large companies invested twelve percent and the small and medium-sized ones ten percent. Overall, the industry invested around eleven percent of sales in research and development. This is a comparably high R&D intensity to that achieved by the electronics industry. This has the highest in Germany, according to the latest study by ZEW (Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research).
"If the year 2020 was challenging for our members due to the pandemic, they were able to catch up significantly last year and use catch-up effects for themselves. ", says Thomas Simmons, Managing Director AMA Association for Sensor and Measurement Technology. "Sales are stabilizing at a high level, and the industry is investing in research and development and hiring new employees. This illustrates the optimistic mood of optimism in our industry for the current fiscal year."
AMA Association reports industry development in the third quarter of 2021
The AMA Association for Sensor and Measuring Technology e.V. (AMA) surveyed its approximately 450 members on economic development in the third quarter. AMA members generated sales of plus minus zero percent in the third quarter, compared to the previous quarter. Comparing the sales development with the results of the third quarter of 2020 to 2021, there is a significant increase in sales of 25 percent.
New orders developed as predicted by AMA members, with an increase of four percent, compared to the previous quarter. It is striking that small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) reported significantly higher new orders in the third quarter than large companies. The industry expects a moderate increase of a further two percent in the current quarter.
However, AMA members continued to report significant shortfalls due to supply and material bottlenecks. Nearly 80 percent of AMA members said they continue to suffer from material shortages from suppliers, and the industry expects this condition to continue through the middle, and many more likely the end, of next year.
AMA members were also asked about ordering restraint by their own customers due to their material shortages. 28 percent of AMA members confirmed such restraint on the part of their own customers.
"Around 80 percent of the companies in the industry are currently suffering from delivery problems due to a lack of materials, as a result of bottlenecks at their suppliers. Our members estimated that this will continue for another six months to a year," said Thomas Simmons, AMA managing director. "At the same time, the industry is doing very well right now. It's almost as if Corona didn't exist. Sales were flat in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter, but that was at a plus-25 percent level compared to the third quarter of 2020. AMA members expect sales to continue to increase in the current quarter, and new orders have been growing without interruption for the past year and a half," says Thomas Simmons, AMA executive director. "It remains to be seen if and to what extent these supply issues will impact sales."
AMA Association reports industry development for the second quarter of 2021
Sensors and measurement technology recorded significant sales growth in the first quarter, with sales stabilizing at plus minus zero percent in the second quarter. Overall, the industry's incoming orders developed positively with an increase of eight percent. The proportion of AMA member companies that have registered for short-time work is falling significantly, with only one in five companies now employing people on short-time work.
Catching up on sales, small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) performed significantly better in the second quarter than large companies in the sector. Accordingly, the expectations of small to mid-sized AMA members are slightly more optimistic than those of larger members. Overall, the industry expects positive growth of four percent in the third quarter.
Short-time work is now only found among SMEs in the industry and mainly affects suppliers to the target markets: mechanical engineering, sensor and measurement technology, and the automotive and electrical sectors. Suppliers to the medical technology and energy industries are little or not at all affected. This is underpinned by above-average incoming order for suppliers to the medical technology sector. The aerospace sales market is also developing well. Below-average results are reported by suppliers to the sensor and measurement technology sectors.
The AMA Association also surveyd its members on the development of online sales during the COVID crisis. One in six companies is increasing its own online trade, especially suppliers to the energy and automotive sectors. The majority of companies that are establishing and expanding online trade report promising results.
"Encouragingly, our industry is bouncing back, with sales and new orders in particular performing as our industry expected the long-term trend to be before the Corona pandemic," said Thomas Simmons, AMA executive director. "Order books are well filled, short-time work has decreased significantly, sales are stabilizing and the industry is confident about the current quarter."
Industry grows more strongly than expected due to catch-up effects
The AMA Association for Sensors and Metrology surveys its 450 members quarterly on economic development. The industry reports revenue growth of 13 percent for the first quarter, compared to the previous quarter. Incoming orders rose by seven percent at the beginning of the year. The industry is in a positive mood and expects further moderate revenue growth of four percent in the second quarter.
According to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, economic output contracted by 1.7 percent overall in the first quarter of 2021. However, the industry was on an upward trend again at the end of the first quarter and incoming orders continued this upward trend, in particular due to rising domestic demand. Sensor and measurement manufacturers reported much more positive developments for the first quarter. In particular, the large AMA members were able to increase revenue in the first quarter. In terms of incoming orders, on the other hand, the small and medium-sized industry representatives scored above average, while the major players reported stable incoming orders. Strong catch-up effects are having a positive impact on suppliers to the electronics sector and mechanical and plant engineering, while this effect has yet to materialize for suppliers to the automotive sector.
"Our statistics show that the drop in revenue from the Corona crisis has now been offset for a large part of our industry," says Thomas Simmons, managing director of the AMA Association for Sensor and Measurement Technology. "Overall, our members' expectations are positive. In most cases, interrupted supply chains could be closed by alternative suppliers. The trend in new orders also supports the outlook for normalizing revenue growth in the current quarter."